Wednesday, March 30, 2011


You know how you sometimes start composing blog posts in your head when you can't get to the computer?  Or you snap some pictures of something you know you'll want to blog about later?  

I've been doing that a lot recently.  When I say a lot, I mean my blog-brain is backlogged.   Seriously backlogged. 

(Okay, random aside.  I'm looking at the word backlogged and thinking, "did I spell that right?  wait, is that even a real word?  do I need to change it to something else?"  I mean it, I'm having a total self-doubt moment about that word.)

If I wait to find the time to post all my brain-blog posts, you'll never get to read them, and it will be a looooong time before I blog again. 
So, instead, I'll give the Spark Notes version of the posts I would have written.  And, if, as I summarize, something really sticks with me, I might write a whole post on it soon.  We'll see.

Backlogged Post #1: Spring Cleaning Round 1.  Last week I was on Spring Break from school and decided to tackle some of the mess in my house.  I started reading Organized Simplicity, by Tsh Oxenreider.  I haven't finished yet, but I am looking forward to continuing more.  I picked up all the crap on the main floor, in the master bedroom, in the bathrooms, and in the upstairs guest room.  I put stuff away in the basement TV room.  I dusted and vacuumed everything, cleaned the kitchen and all the bathrooms.  I did laundry and put it away, and I even vacummed the screens and washed the windows.  I took before pictures on Husband's camera (alas, mine really does appear to have been stolen), but forgot to get around to taking the after pictures.   (editor's note: several days have gone by - things are still mostly uncluttered and looking good, but the trick will be keeping it that way and clean.)

Backlogged Post #2: Being a Grown Up.  I feel like God is really calling me to embrace the fact that I am a "grown up."  A couple of weeks ago I realized that somewhere I learned to take "you're so young" as "you're inferior and incompetent."  No one said that of course, I just heard it.  Anyway, it has been a bit scary but a lot freeing to attempt to embrace my grown up self.  Husband started hearing it, too, and we went from talking about it to hearing a sermon that spoke to our hearts immediately within an hour.  Clear as a whistle, God.  In embrace-your-grown-up-self attempt #1, we invited our church small group over for dinner.  It didn't turn out the way we expected, but we still ended up having a great time getting to know one family we didn't really know yet.  There was definitely a moment when everything seemed like it was falling apart - but I was so convinced God is trying to grow me that I refused to give in to the lies I was hearing.

Backlogged Post #3: Time.  You know me, I don't have a lot of it.  But over Spring Break, I intentionally chose to not go anywhere (well, I don't have any money to do that, anyway) or to fill my schedule with lots of coffee and lunch dates.  I knew I wanted to clean my house (see #1) and do some work, but I also knew I wanted to have Time.  I spent some quality time with my mom over coffee and lunch a couple of times, which was much needed.  I slept in every day until 8:30.  And I read.  I read four and a half books.  I finished The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins.  I went to the library and got eight books, and read four of them in four or five days.  Invitation to Provence, by Elizabeth Adler, Angel Harp, by Michael Phillips, Faces of the Gone, by Brad Parks, and The Lost Gate, by Orson Scott Card.  I wouldn't really recommend Invitation to Provence, but Angel Harp was a great Christian Historical Fiction set in Scotland.  Faces of the Gone was a mystery.  Good, but not great.  The Lost Gate was really intriguing, but has an intresting twist on gods and magic, so if you aren't into that, you won't like it.   Now that school is back in session, it will probably take me a few days each at least to read the other four books.   Having time to do that was so life-giving.

Backlogged Post #4: March Madness.  That's right, I have been paying attention to the March Madness basketball tournament.  A friend of mine's hubby is an assistant coach at the University of Richmond who ended up playing in Round 2 and 3 nearby us.  I couldn't pass that up, could I?  St Patty's day, the day before our Spring Break, my dad, friend, and Husband and I headed to Denver for a day of basketball.  (this is hush hush since I took a day off work for it.... I had a "once in a lifetime family committment") to watch the Louisville-Morehead game and the Richmond-Vanderbilt game.  We sat waaaay up high, almost as far as you could go, but it was awesome.  As the Spiders won (woohoo), they played again in Round 3 on Saturday.  That time we were given tickets in the 5th row from the court, right behind the Richmond bench.  Dad, Sister, Husband, and I were freaking stoked to watch Richmond beat Morehead, and then stayed to watch BYU beat Gonzaga.  Richmond went onto the Sweet 16, but sadly lost to Kansas.

Backlogged Post #5: Student Council Elections.  I'm running elections for the next three weeks or so.  This week, the five Executive Council positions. Next week, the 18 Class Officer positions.  The next two weeks, the 12 teacher-nominated Class Representatives positions.  My thoughts are swimming with recently-read cover letters, personal view questions, teacher recommendations, and interview questionnaires.  It's a bit odd to think about next year already, when we have two months of this year left, but it's also really exciting.  There are some great candidates running and I can't help but be excited for next year, a chance to do some things a little differently and to continue serving our school.

Backlogged Post #6: My heart.  It's full.  It's been learning a lot.  I can't really share it all in a mini-post, but I think you'll get the point, anyway.  God's been teaching me things - I've shared some of them in past posts - and it's been amazing.  I definitely feel like it could be easy to be attacked or side-tracked if I'm not careful and not committed to continuing the conversations He and I have been having, but for now, I'm just amazed with how great He is and how, even though things are not easy, they are Good.  And how much He's been speaking to me.  And really, it makes my heart full.

Okay, that's it for now.  I am sure there were more, but really, you don't want to read any more, and I think I am going to go work on finishing the fifth library book before bed.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Little Ways: A New Series

Have you read my first post, Like A Day Off, where I first described the inspiration for my blog title?

Several months after reading that Dove promise and a plethora of posts describing my busy life, I added the tag line, "learning how to live a busy life." 

The reality is that I am busy.  And you know, if you have followed me for a while, that I hate the word busy, because it really is almost meaningless in this day and age, and certainly, in my life.  Regardless of my dislike for the word, the reality remains true.  I'm busy.  All the time.  And I know that you, most definitely, are busy, too.  Sometimes I fall into the trap of a little jealousy and bitterness about others whose lives are "less busy" - but who am I kidding?  We're all freakishly busy.  Our lives are full of things, and not so full of margin. 

Margin has been something I've been thinking about, praying about, and even working on a lot in the past few months.  As God has been teaching me things (as I've finally been listening to Him more), I've also felt the need for more magin and have been trying to find ways to build it into my life.

And you know what?  I've discovered that, when I've created margin for myself, for my family, for God, I end up getting everything else I needed to get done, done. 

Let me honest for a moment, though.  I often don't create margin, I just get lazy.  And when I'm lazy and do nothing, then I don't actualy get all the other stuff done, either, and I increase my stress load greatly.  For me, at least, there is a big difference between "doing nothing" and margin.  Margin has to be intentional, I'm learning.

Back to the point.  I've decided that, in an effort to continue my journey on learning to live a busy life, I'm creating a series called "Little Ways."  I'm not sure how often I'll post to this series - once a week?  once a month? - but I'll post some of the real little ways I'm living life like a day off. 

I ask you to think about how YOU create margin, too, and how YOU find little ways to live like a day off.  I'll include your Little Ways, too.  I can't wait to learn from you!

So here's to finding Little Ways to live, my friends.  Can't wait to see where this leads.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Epic Cookie Fail

I was talking to my friend Brooke on the phone this afternoon.  She's moving in a couple of months and is working on using the food in her pantry before she goes and mentioned that she was going to bake a pumpkin pie since she had some leftover pumpkin in the freezer.  I commented that I had a few cans of pumpkin in the pantry and got it my head that, after I finished doing some grading, I would make some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  I know, it's not the right time of year, but it sounded delicious.

So after I'd reheated myself some pizza and finished my grading, I whipped up some cookie dough.  We can't find our measuring spoons, so I eyeballed it, but the dough tasted so good, I wasn't worried.

Batch one came out a little gooey.  I added a little more baking powder, figuring that I just hadn't guessed the right amount.

Batch two.  Even more gooey than batch one.  In fact, they were not even done, so I just threw it back in the bowl.  Stupid idea, because the choclate chips had melted, which turned the whole dough brown instead of orange. 

Called my mom. Decided it must need more flour.  Added some more.

Batch three, the same as before.  Sigh.  I quit. 

Reach to turn the oven off. 

Oh. My. Gosh.  The oven is off.  I must have turned it off out of habit after I reheated the pizza.

Turned the oven back on and let it re-heat.

Put in batch four.  Not gooey at all.  Too dry, because they had too much flour.

Oh well!  I threw out what was left of the dough.

Hence, the Epic Cookie Fail.

I would have posted pictures, but I think my camera was stolen from school.
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